How to get a body like Daniel Craig: Chest and triceps workout

 Daniel Craig Ultimate Performance

Daniel Craig

The ultimate James Bond – Ever since he took the lead role in 2006 hit Casino Royale, his performances as Bond have earned him rave reviews from fans and critics alike. However, his tenure playing the British secret agent came to an end in 2021, following his memorable fifth and final outing as 007 in No Time To Die.

His cool, suave and charming persona makes him everything that the classic James Bond character should be. Unlike Bond of old, Craig has real brawn to add to his brains which has made films like Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Spectre box office smashes.

But what sets him apart from every other man who has played the illustrious 007 role in the past is his incredible muscular physique.

Notorious for his impressive chest and strong triceps, he has all the tools a rugged spy like Bond requires.

It’s no wonder hundreds of men that come through our door want to achieve that Daniel Craig physique and look like Britain’s best big-screen spy. Here, we explain how you can.

Workout 1: Chest

How to perform the exercises

This guide is aimed at trainees with a good knowledge of the exercises and how to train safely and effectively.

To start your life-changing body transformation today, visit any one of our gyms around the world or begin your online training program.

Reverse banded flat bench/decline bench press

The set-up

  • Place a flat bench in the centre of a power rack.
  • Attach the bands to the top of the rack and loop around the racked bar. Note, you may need to add weight before looping the bands so the bar is not pulled out of the pins.
  • Make sure the bands will be vertical with the path of the bar when executing the movement.
  • Lie down flat on a bench, lift your chest and pin your shoulder blades together and onto the bench.
  • Make sure your grip is just outside shoulder width, allow your spotter to help un-rack the bar.
  • Brace your core and pull your shoulder blades together.

The movement

  • Lower the bar (imagine rowing the bar to your chest) whilst maintaining the arch in the back.
  • Pause for 1 second at the bottom of the rep.
  • Drive the bar upwards, keeping the shoulder blades pinned to the bench.
  • Re-brace and repeat.

Trainer tips

  • Ensure you keep your shoulder blades pinned to the bench.
  • If the arm internally or externally rotates, you have exceeded your range of motion.
  • If you struggle to feel your chest contract, focus on driving your elbows across the body.

45-degree dumbbell press

The set-up 

  • Pick up the dumbbell using a neutral grip and sit on the 45-degree bench with them resting on your thighs, close to your hip crease.
  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart, under or behind your knees and flat on the floor.
  • Lean back against the bench, using your thighs to help get the dumbbells into position, level with your chest and then up to a stacked position, with the wrist, elbow and shoulder all aligned.
  • Point your chest upwards (but keep the ribcage tucked down) towards the ceiling and tuck your shoulder blades down into your back pockets.
  • Your shoulders and glutes should be touching the bench, and there will be a small gap between your lower can and the bench.
  • This is the start and end position for each rep.

The movement

  • From the stacked position at the top, “pull” the dumbbells down towards your chest with the arms at an angle of 45-60 degrees to your torso.
  • You have reached the end of your range-of-motion when you can no longer lower the dumbbells without the shoulder rounding forwards.
  • Pause before reversing the motion, under control, to return to the start position.
  • Pause again before repeating for the desired number of reps.
  • On the last rep, lower the dumbbells to your chest, tuck your elbows in and sit forwards using your legs to generate momentum. You can also ask a training partner to take one dumbbell from you at a time.

Trainer tips

  • Make sure that the dumbbells do not clang together at the top of the movement.
  • Ensure that you do not ‘shrug’ the weight up at the top. This reduces shoulder stability and increases the risk of injury. Focus on keeping the shoulder blades tucked down throughout.

Decline seated cable flyes

The set-up

  • Place an adjustable bench in the centre of a cable crossover station.
  • Adjust the bench angle to 45-60 degrees.
  • Adjust the cables (with the handles attached to it) slightly above shoulder height when seated on the bench.
  • Pick up the handles and sit on the bench, point your chest up towards the ceiling and pinch your shoulder blades back together.
  • Bring your arms forward so that they are at shoulder height and roughly in line with your armpits
  • Hold the handles with your palms facing each other and maintain a slight bend in your elbows
  • This is the start and finish point for each rep

The movement

  • Pull your arms forward in a circular motion, driving your upper arms across your body.
  • Pause for a moment on top and squeeze your muscles.
  • Reverse the motion, under control, to return to the start position
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Trainer tips

  • Ensure the shoulder blades are pinched together and the chest is kept upright.
  • Focus on making a wide circular arc by bringing your upper arms across your body.
  • A simple cue is to think about hugging a tree while maintaining the bend in the elbow.
  • Do not let your elbow travel behind your armpits as this strains the shoulders.

Workout 2: Triceps

If push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps) and upper body muscles (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps) are trained twice a week, then 1 exercise of triceps at the end of each workout will be added which makes it 2 exercises spread over 2 sessions. This will be done in addition to the chest workout detailed above.

How to perform the exercises

This guide is aimed at trainees with a good knowledge of the exercises and how to train safely and effectively.

Unilateral lying-down cufflink pushdown

The set-up

  • Lie down on the floor in a supine position, in the centre of a cable crossover station.
  • The cables should be 8-10 inches above the chest.
  • Grip the cufflinks in your hand and lift your chest up. Your arms should be at a 45-60-degree angle and push your upper arm into the ground for stability.

The movement

  • Drive your upper arm into the floor and extend your elbow. Ensure the cable lines up with your upper arm.
  • Pause at the fully extended position for 1 second and contract your triceps.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, pause for 1 second and repeat.

Trainer tips

  • Keeping your upper arms still, do not let the weight pull you out of the position. The only movement should come from your elbows bending.
  • Push the elbows into the ground for stability.

Unilateral seated cufflink overhead extension

The set-up

  • Sit upright on a flat bench, a few feet in front of a cable station.
  • Adjust the cable slightly above shoulder height.
  • Grab one of the cables – the upper arm should be parallel to the floor and the cable should line up with the upper arm.

The movement

  • Extend your elbow while keeping the upper arm stable and parallel to the floor.
  • Pause for 1 second when your arm is extended and contract your triceps.
  • Slowly return back by getting your forearm to touch your upper arm while keeping the upper arm stable.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Trainer tips 

  • Keeping your upper arms still, do not let the weight pull you out of the position.
  • The only movement should come from your forearms hinging on your elbow joint.

Why this workout works

In order for a chest to look muscular and defined, the muscle simply needs to be well built before any fancy techniques need to be incorporated.

Besides angles, accommodating resistance (e.g. bands and chains and other tools), the basics need to be on point, such as adequate weight on lifts and managing fatigue through periodising failure training.

There are 3 mechanisms for hypertrophy (building muscle):

  1. Mechanical tension – Manipulated through mechanical loading and speed of the lift.
  2. Muscle damage – Maximum muscle damage occurs on eccentric contractions.
  3. Metabolic stress – A build-up of lactic acid and other metabolites inside the muscle.

Time frame: 4-6 weeks, where the effort and volume (i.e. number of hard sets) will be prioritised to ensure the stimulus to fatigue ratio is adequate.

Many men will remember the iconic James Bond scene in Casino Royale where Daniel Craig is walking out of the sea – you can see his chest is pretty well developed and the fullness around the upper chest stands out.



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